The toughest job in sports journalism, without question, is a beat writer covering a Major League team.
There are no off days and from mid-February through October these guys pound out story after story, day after day.
They have to deal with hundreds of personalities (good and bad or both), not just from the team they cover but the opposing teams as well. They deal with deadlines, day games, night games, doubleheaders, odd travel schedules and all sorts of inconveniences like a steady diet of press box food and cranky media relations people. If they get stuck with a bad and boring team to cover it makes for a long season. Real long.
What about the announcers? They cover the team every day. True. But radio broadcasters don't have to fill space in a newspaper. Basically, the prep work for a radio/TV announcer comes before the game. Once the game ends it's "See ya tomorrow!" The beat writer has to go into the clubhouses, grab quotes then work on the game story that he's been writing and re-writing during the game.
I always feel bad when a writer, in a 6-1 game heading into the last inning or so, has his story pretty much written. A routine game to write about, get a few quotes to spice it up and it's a relatively easy night. Then the trailing team rallies to tie it and the game goes extra innings. The first story is scrapped. The deadline is approaching. Everything changes. The broadcasters just think, "Damn, extra innings. I gotta stay a little while longer."
Baseball writers don't only write about the game either. They do feature stories, opinion pieces and whatever else the sports editor throws at them.
When do baseball writers sleep? I don't know. How much time do they spend with their families? Not much.
Would you like to be a baseball beat writer? I wouldn't. Radio announcer, yes indeed, sign me up in a heartbeat.
Have I convinced you that a baseball beat writer has the toughest job in sports journalism? If so, the next time you see a baseball beat writer schlubbing about, go up to him and give him a hug. They need it. And then they'll probably write about it.